Late season climb. Tried to follow the standard route but missed the nightcap trail, (it is directly across from the water tank and ascends directly up the hill). No matter, just followed the Kennedy Lake trail to the Nightcap trail junction at the far end. Ascended the marked Nightcap trail which is barely a trail now to a point where I could see the summit ridge and climbed through some brush, across some fine granite to the south ridge leading to the peak let. Cold day with a few flurries. Ascended the summit with great views of Relief Reservoir and Kennedy Lake. Returned using the standard route and found the Nightcap trail again, which looks a lot like a series of washes and creek lets.
Didn't start hiking until something like 7:30p, and after wandering about the cliffs on the way down, didn't get back until midnight. Great fun. Trip Report
Climbed round trip from Kennedy Lake on a beautiful sunny day. I followed Night Cap Trail and the standard route going up and descended the south drainage coming down. Both routes are almost entirely sand and scree once you step off trail.
Attempted a new route from Chipmonk Flat but did not make the summit. We followed the creek south to its origin east of the summit. I then ascended to the saddle on the SE side. The upper section of this slope is a little hairy with a thin layer of scree over hard rock. It's like hiking on marbles. Once on the saddle, I could not find an easy way to the summit. There are volcanic spires blocking the way. I also could not traverse the peak to the west to the normal route as a very steep scree slope blocked the way. I was too afraid to downclimb the way I came, so I ended up following the gully down to the southwest and hiked out via the Kennedy Lake trail. This was a very long day of hiking mostly rough off-trail terrain, yet I enjoyed exploring this area where probably few have ever been. I don't recommend this route.
Volcanic scree scramble typical of the emigrant wilderness. Nice warm spring day with a fair amount of snow still covering the Kennedy Meadows area.
I personally think that the views from Nightcap are far superior than the views from (the much more frequently visited) Leavitt Peak slightly to the north.
Pics, GPS tracks, and trip report are here
Climbed this little known peak early in the season. Lots of snow on the North Face. Broke out the crampons and ice axe and climbed the exposed face. Hiking on the southern side in less exposed and lacks snow for an easier climb.